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Rabbi Chaim Coffman
Rabbi Coffman has helped people from all across the spectrum to prepare themselves properly for Orthodox Conversion to Judaism. His students admire his vast knowledge and appreciate his warm, personal attention and endearing sense of humor.
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Welcome to Rabbi Chaim Coffman's Blog!

I would like to thank you for visiting my blog, Beyond Orthodox Conversion to Judaism.

The conversion process can be a lengthy and daunting one to say the least and I want you to know that I am here to help you through it.

I have been teaching newcomers to Judaism for over a decade and over the last few years I have seen that conversion candidates really lack the support and knowledge they need to navigate the conversion process and successfully integrate into the Orthodox Jewish community.

I created my mentorship program in order to help make this whole experience as smooth and as painless as possible! (Can't do much about the growing pains, though ;)

Feel free to get to know me a little through the posts on my blog and visit the mentorship and syllabus page if you are interested in possible joining us.

I sincerely wish you all the best in your search for truth and spiritual growth.

Looking forward to meeting you,
Chaim Coffman

My Rebbe, Rav Moshe Sternbuch

In case you were wondering why I have all of these articles written by Rav Moshe Sternbuch, he is my Rebbe, and one of the gedolei hador (greatest Rabbis of our generation).

Rav Sternbuch fully endorses me and supports my mentorship program.

He is the address for all of my halachic or hashkafic (practical and philosophical) questions that I or my students may have.

The articles are based on his weekly talks on the Torah portion that the Rav gives in Jerusalem in his kollel. As a member of the kollel I get first dibbs on the photocopies and I type them up for my blog so you can all benefit from the Rav's erudition and insight.
Thursday, July 24, 2014

Parshas Masei: Each station in life has importance

"These are the journeys of the children of Israel who went out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moshe and Aharon" (Numbers 33:1)

What is the purpose of mentioning all the times and the Jewish people visited while they were in the desert? Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlit'a in Ta'am V'Da'as explains that this is compared to mitzvah observance and spiritual endeavors a person encounters in their lives. A person works hard to do mitzvos in this world to acquire a portion in the next world.

While in this world, they go and travel for this outcome; i.e. all their effort goes from place to place acquiring the spiritual tools for the next world. This is what the rabbis mean when they say that rabbinic scholars have no rest in this world because they are busy perfecting themselves and growing spiritually! They are never satisfied where they are holding today, always looking to make improvements in their lives.

 We live in a transient world, whereby many think this is the ultimate; there is no other world except this one, G-d forbid! Therefore, what they do doesn't matter and why not just enjoy life to the fullest since "eat, drink and be merry today lest tomorrow I die!" Unfortunately this is how many people live their lives and the world continues for them a meaningless existence.

Torah observant Jews have everything to live for and tremendous meaning in their everyday activities. They pray, make blessings thanking G-d for their sustenance, help others, keep the holidays and shabbos...things that not only give them meaning but sustain the universe. The problem is that we don't see many times the results of our actions and therefore many make the mistake and think that what we do doesn't matter.

Rav Chaim Volohziner, the famed disciple  of the Vilna Gaon, brings down at the beginning of Nefesh HaChaim that this is a mistake we cannot afford to make. He tells us in great detail how great our actions are and what ramifications they have in this world and the next. If we would only understand it even at a basic level, we would live our lives differently!

The point Rav Chaim makes is that everything we do has repercussions for good and bad. We have to constantly take stock of our actions so that we improve them and change otherwise we could see disastrous results.

If our actions really matter, wouldn't we take life and ourselves more seriously? When we see a nation being bombarded with missiles and most are landing in open areas not causing much damage, do we see the Divine Providence  or do we say it is just luck?

Each of us reach different stations in life. We need to take stock of them and see how we did at each interval. When we do this, we can see what we need to work on and what needs to change. This makes us realize how small we are but how much we can grow and influence the world.

Shabbat Shalom